Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:25 pm

Does this help ?

Vitamin A sources - eggs - cheese [ where aren't chickens reared ?]

Sources of beta-carotene are carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots, broccoli, spinach, and most dark green, leafy vegetables. The more intense the color of a fruit or vegetable, the higher the beta-carotene content. These vegetable sources of beta-carotene are free of fat and cholesterol.

Also I add on - Papaya , Mangoes, Amaranth, also many edible dark green leaves we call Bhajee. Dascheen leaves ?

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002400.htm

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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  JimLewis on Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:08 pm

a very elaborate article on this topic in Wiki.

One of the last places I'd look for reliable info. It's OK for quick-and-dirty pointers to other places to look, but . . .

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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:47 pm

As bonsai artists we are trained to think long term. In the long term the future of engineered bonsai trees looks very promising to me. As more and more is known about plant matter, their genome and DNA the techniques to modify them will be better understood and developed. Current technology may be limiting but even improvement in drought resisitance would be good for bonsai trees in areas where water is getting scarcer and more expensive. Long term can be 10, 100 or 1000 years.

I don't fear big corporations. Sure there are certain people in big corporations that have evil intentions but there are similar people in small companies, in the government and on their own. Big corporations have done countless good for the world - it would be take tremendous effort to list all the benefits of them. But I don't see it taking a big corporation to engineer a bonsai tree. A privately interested genetist or a researcher funded by a wealthy benefactor could perform the necessary research/experimentation. Since bonsai trees are contained to pots and readily controlled that tremendously limits risk. And don't overlook the possiblity that research in one are may have a spill over into another.


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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  clic8991 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:22 pm

Well I suppose I tried to avoid any particular opinions about the morality, efficacy, or safety surrounding Genetic engineering in plants. Words must be chosen carefully in this case and even with discretion, different people interpret these words in different ways. Even in the following passage it is difficult to convey significant ambivalence to provide information in an unbiased manner; regardless I will try and clarify the points addressed and make apparent what is my opinion and what is fact.

As to whether the technology of genetic engineering will make things "better", I believe, comes down to a matter of opinion. On one end of the spectrum is the ideal that advancements in technology will help bring stability, health and happiness to all people of the world. On the other, the fundamentals of happiness and well being exist inherently, and are connected to purpose and diversity (both a broad range of peoples on the earth and a wide range of challenges; including death and disease). This spectrum becomes muddled when one must consider that well being is tied to innovation and improvement of ones self. Furthermore, simply using technology does not prevent one from enjoying the inherent value of life. These conflicted opinions about technology have been constant throughout history. Luddites, for instance, feared the mechanized loom would change the nature of their life in the 19th century. However, it is quite possible that the combination of different opinions is what has made the human species survive through out evolution, and presumably, into the future.

One of the most difficult problems with judging the efficacy of genetic engineering in plants is calculating the impact that it has. One must consider social, environmental, economic, safety, etc. impacts before any realistic estimation of the influence of GM crops have on the world is made. This is complicated by the realization that these metrics of effectiveness have to be measured over decades, they are at least partially subjective, and are only estimates. Furthermore, how can any individual make a morality calculation for a culture of which it is not a part of. The particulars of this issue is highlighted in the following scientific study:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/energy-environment/14crop.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss
http://www.national-academies.org/morenews/20100413.html

Even if a net positive gain in health is proven, certain people may object to businesses having ownership of food distribution or the alteration of organisms in general. One must also consider that those which would likely be influenced the most by genetically engineered crops, are not necessarily the ones that are making the decisions to create them. This then becomes tied up in concepts such as freedom and "transparency of information" and how can one maximize their freedom without constraining other's? Food is very important to everyone.

As far as I know, species which are used in bonsai have been genetically engineered, but I do not know of any genetically engineered tree species which has been introduced into the market. I would be very surprised if anyone owned a genetically engineered bonsai.

Another consideration is that the technologies required to create transgenics are almost inherently proprietary; meaning it is difficult to freely distribute most anything that is produced. I think technically that would constrain the legality of things like grafting, air layering, and even seed germination unless that right was also purchased. I admit, however, I am not particularly familiar with this part of the issue.

I suppose I feel that as systems become more and more complicated, our freedom becomes more and more constrained; this is why I didn't have an interest in continuing in plant transgenics. This is not to say that technology hasn't helped or that plant transgenics can't "improve" the world, but that I cast my vote, my fraction, my energy into something else.

There are certainly examples where genetic engineering can help save lives or provide a service:
As pointed out, "Golden Rice" is certainly a good example. (Golden rice is derived from the addition of genes from Daffodil and a soil bacterium into rice)
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,98034,00.html

Transgenic Papaya another:
http://springerprotocols.com/Abstract/doi/10.1385/1-59259-827-7:399

hepatitis B antigen(vaccine) in banana
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15918027?dopt=Abstract

Poplar for phytoremediation
http://www.springerlink.com/content/wl9t0p2w3jv38111/

While I have tried to be unbiased in my presentation of the factual information, as with everything do not use me as a sole source of information. Sorry this ended up being horribly long.

Colin


Last edited by clic8991 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)

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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  Tony on Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:46 pm

Hi Colin, not 'horridly long' actually well put and informed, as with any post on IBC folk need to make their own judgment and I thank you for your contribution. You have put your point across eloquently.

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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  Brett Summers on Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:39 pm

Yes very nicely written Colin. You have a very valued opinion on this subject but now that you explain your opinion further I find it is more a dislike of how the world works rather than a dislike of genetic engineering. Suspect
I can largely agree on this opinion and would be interested what you now spend your time on.

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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:29 am

Thanks Colin, this is exactly the type of converstation I was hoping to engender with the topic. I appreciate your input. thumbs up Too bad the links included for the most part only show an abstract but the abstracts alone were interesting.

Let's see some of your trees in some future posts. flower


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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  Ravi Kiran on Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:52 am

Thanks Colin,

For a very informative post. Thanks also for being unbiased in your outlook. It takes a lot of courage to be so.

Well folks, having said and heard most views, I guess that there is enough on the table (more is welcome though) for us to sit back, relax and put on our party caps king queen and pull out the beers.



Let's now discuss if the mug is half full or half empty and apply that to our talk on GE/GM

Cheers
Ravi


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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  Enrique on Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:12 pm

Interesting Post Rob, very easy to get controversial here, this one is almost intended for me! ha ha ha.
As mention early by Dorothy, grafting, carving, wiring, actually doing bonsai is changing the tree in question for our pleasure. We have to be clear that all bonsai techniques involved doing something NOT natural. A BONSAI is NOT Natural creation, it could represent nature or the vision of the artist of nature or of something else. But anyway a few things to note
Most of the genetic engineering is Not done by companies!
The best genetic engineers are not even human!!!! Ha ha I always like that, from nature many other organism have figure their way to alter genomes or even better just the way information is process for their own benefits. Some wasp do far better than the best human engineer. But well that another story.
It is NOT expensive to do genetic manipulation, salaries however another thing is all together.
And yes GM are all around you, even in most cotton clothing!
Anyway going to the original points from the post
Is it possible to do transgenesis to change traits of most if not all tree species, the answer is yes!
Could this be useful in the art of bonsai in the future, the answer is yes! It could be useful know!
Has anyone had problems with a tree that died due to fungal or anyother type of infection?
Has anyone living in the tropics wanted to grow J. white pines, or anyone in the northern part wanted to grow neeas or other tropical trees?
Etc there can be many scenarios to think.
However most important is the question
Can all genetic manipulations be done today?, NO, thankfully not, since we are not prepared ethically to handle this type of information, and thankfully it will take a long time before we can do this, must likely we will not see this ourselves. However, science is going that way, “GATACA” is getting closer.

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Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  sunip on Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:54 pm

A humble thought.
One of the golden rules of Phythagoras:
"Never do what you not fully understand"
For me, this does not mean abandon al examining,
in the contrary it gives us the fruitful ground for real finding.

regards, Sunip Wink

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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:07 pm

Enrique wrote:Interesting Post Rob, very easy to get controversial here, this one is almost intended for me! ha ha ha.
As mention early by Dorothy, grafting, carving, wiring, actually doing bonsai is changing the tree in question for our pleasure. We have to be clear that all bonsai techniques involved doing something NOT natural. A BONSAI is NOT Natural creation, it could represent nature or the vision of the artist of nature or of something else. But anyway a few things to note
Most of the genetic engineering is Not done by companies!
The best genetic engineers are not even human!!!! Ha ha I always like that, from nature many other organism have figure their way to alter genomes or even better just the way information is process for their own benefits. Some wasp do far better than the best human engineer. But well that another story.
It is NOT expensive to do genetic manipulation, salaries however another thing is all together.
And yes GM are all around you, even in most cotton clothing!
Anyway going to the original points from the post
Is it possible to do transgenesis to change traits of most if not all tree species, the answer is yes!
Could this be useful in the art of bonsai in the future, the answer is yes! It could be useful know!
Has anyone had problems with a tree that died due to fungal or anyother type of infection?
Has anyone living in the tropics wanted to grow J. white pines, or anyone in the northern part wanted to grow neeas or other tropical trees?
Etc there can be many scenarios to think.
However most important is the question
Can all genetic manipulations be done today?, NO, thankfully not, since we are not prepared ethically to handle this type of information, and thankfully it will take a long time before we can do this, must likely we will not see this ourselves. However, science is going that way, “GATACA” is getting closer.

Thanks for the response Enrique, sorry I missed it when you first posted. Nice to hear from a practicing PhD in plant microbiology.

We need to think long term sometimes and not short term knee jerk reaction.

Love your comment about non-human genetic engineering. Very interesting.

I am not afraid of the future. In fact I'd like to see as much of it as possible. Smile

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Re: Genetically Engineering Bonsai Trees

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